N.Y.U. students fret debt will go up with mega-plan

[media-credit name=”Photo by Tequila Minsky” align=”aligncenter” width=”600″][/media-credit]

On the eve of Board 2’s big vote on N.Y.U.’s application for its superblocks development plan, university students and faculty rallied against the ambitious scheme on Tuesday at Gould Plaza on W. Fourth St. They decried the proposal as irresponsible and wildly expensive. (See Page 2 for more coverage and photos.) C.B. 2 will weigh in on the 2031 Plan on Thursday evening Feb. 23 as part of the city’s ULURP review and issue its advisory resolution, outlining its position on the proposal. The meeting will start at 6 p.m., at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 151 Sullivan St. (just south of Houston St.), lower hall. For members of the public wishing to testify, speakers’ cards will be accepted between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Before that, at 5 p.m., the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation will gather at the church with N.Y.U. faculty and students for a press conference and rally.

[media-credit name=”Photos by Tequila Minsky ” align=”aligncenter” width=”600″][/media-credit]About 125 N.Y.U. students, graduate students and faculty rallied against the university’s 2031 Plan on Tuesday. They were joined by Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, state Senator Tom Duane, the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, a representative of N.Y.U. for O.W.S. and two Community Board 2 members. Students would be hit hard, speakers said, by the price tag of the mega-plan, which would add 2.5 million square feet to New York University’s two South Village superblocks. “N.Y.U. is the number one university in the country in terms of student debt, incontrovertibly,” said Professor Andrew Ross, an organizer of the rally. “N.Y.U. should make a promise that they won’t be using tuition fees to pay for this.” Speakers claimed the superblocks projects — including four new buildings — would cost a massive $6 billion, a figure they said has been “put out there,” but that hasn’t officially been reported on paper anywhere by N.Y.U. Asked later if that figure was accurate, Alicia Hurley, N.Y.U. vice president for government affairs and community engagement, said, “The cost of the individual aspects of 2031 will vary and have not been determined. It is certainly the case that building on our own property on the superblocks saves us from the cost of having to purchase land in the area.”

[media-credit id=1 align=”aligncenter” width=”600″][/media-credit]